I'd like to share with you a self-care technique that I have found very helpful...
After clearing all that snow, you're probably sore, with painful, achy muscles. Besides coming in for a massage, there is a simple self-care technique that you can use to release muscle tension that causes pain and discomfort. It can also help you feel the benefits of a massage for a longer period of time between your sessions. It's called "Constructive Rest", inspired by the Alexander Technique.
It's really pretty simple. Here's the brief, but visit the link for more information. Lying on your back on the floor with knees bent, you relax for 15 minutes. You are noticing, but not analyzing, and you're not worried about whether you're doing this "correctly" in every moment. While allowing yourself to relax, you will start to notice where your body feels pain and holds tension. Notice that parts of your spine touch the floor while others don't. Try committing to doing this 15 minutes a day for one week to start. You will find that you can help yourself relax your nervous system and tight muscles, and relieve some pain by practicing this technique regularly. You will probably feel the benefits after the first time you try this. See the link for this practice at the end of this post, you can also find alternatives to lying on a firm hard floor if that is not possible for you.
It's a good idea to set a timer. Fifteen minutes can feel like a long time when you're sort of doing nothing. I began using this practice when I took on the 'Liberated Body 30 day Challenge' which is about getting more movement into your life, using your comfy furniture less, and finding relief for pain, chronic tension and mobility issues - ( here's the link if you're interested : https://www.liberatedbody.com/30-day-challenge/). If the idea of not doing much while lying on the floor for a stretch of time annoys you, don't give up already. It's only fifteen minutes. You will be surprised at how much discomfort and tension you feel lying on the floor after a day of work or a busy day of running errands, or something very strenuous like shoveling snow, or weight lifting. I was surprised to find that in 15 minutes, the pain I felt was greatly lessened and those areas that hold a lot of tension had softened. Another interesting thing you can be aware of is how your thoughts and emotions are linked to holding tension in your body. When practicing constructive rest, my thoughts will inevitably wander. I noticed, for example, that a thought about something that once stressed me out at work led to unconsciously holding a sustained level of tension in the muscles of my chest, arms and hands.
Awareness is key to making changes. We find ourselves taking on certain postures and movements for hours a day, whether it's working at a computer or spending hours clearing snow. A lack of varied movement in our lives can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, lack of balance, and even injury. I think that Constructive rest, practiced regulary, is a great way to help yourself counteract those effects.
Go to Alexander Technique, Constructive Rest: http://alexandertechnique.com/constructiverest/
Stay warm wherever you are.
Until Next Blog,